Vancouver NetCoins simplifies Bitcoin purchases

Netcoins allows customers to buy Bitcoin in under 15 seconds. Our software, Netcoins’ “Virtual” Bitcoin ATM, turns any device into a Bitcoin ATM (tablet, computer, mobile). We sell Bitcoin at over 7,000 stores & mobile agents.


Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

Netcoins is co-founded by myself, Michael Vogel, and my brother Dominic Vogel (aka the Bitcoin Brothers!). My background is in engineering, and Dominic’s is in cyber security, specializing in banking.

How are you being financed?

Netcoins has bootstrapped itself from a startup into a profitable and rapidly scaling company

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

Managing time is always a challenge with any company, there are a million different things to do and it can be a challenge to prioritize when everything seems equally important!

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

Given our tech backgrounds, we’ve fortunately been able to develop our core product ourselves. Speaking from past experiences as an engineering manager, recruiters are often a tremendous resource for finding talent. LinkedIn is also a good starting point – you’d be surprised how many potential candidates you can find.

Who is your biggest competition?

Bitcoin can also be purchased online through an exchange, however exchanges have long verification and payment times, often taking weeks, whereas Netcoins purchases are instant.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?

Along with the Bitcoin market, Netcoins’ growth has exploded in 2017. We’re very happy to have launched on multiple continents, including recent partnerships in Africa and South America, in addition to Canada & Australia.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

We originally created Netcoins because it was difficult to buy Bitcoin for ourselves. Developing a product with ourselves in mind as the first customers has made it possible to have a clear direction on how we’d like the product to function and how best to serve our customers.

Vancouver Startup: CommandWear – Situational Awareness Platform For First Responders

An over-reliance on voice communication often compromises mission success and, ultimately, puts responders’ lives at risk. CommandWear’s mobile and wearable situational awareness platform securely connects and monitors dispersed teams through a combination of sharing real-time GPS location tracking, vital monitoring, image sharing and secure messaging. The software helps first responders save lives – including their own.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

CommandWear Systems Inc. was started by Mike Morrow, a 26 year public safety software industry executive, who has led over 60 successful major public safety crisis management system projects around the globe. Mike is a former IBM System Engineer and Sales Rep turned entrepreneur with deep technical knowledge of GIS mapping and communication systems.

How are you being financed?

CommandWear has raised approximately $1 million through Angel financing since its launch in mid-2013 and is currently self-funding through major contracts. The company is contemplating opening a Seed round in 2018 to expedite penetration into lucrative international markets.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

Many first response agencies are skeptical of relying on cellular (or WiFi) networks and commercial smartphones/tablets for response operations. As broadband and smart devices become more broadly adopted and accepted, especially with rollout of FirstNet, applications like CommandWear will become standard kit.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

CommandWear is based in Vancouver, B.C. (Canada) which has grown into a major tech hub in North America; however, many leading tech companies have entered the Vancouver market and are offering lucrative remuneration packages to snap-up top talent. Smaller companies like CommandWear rely on perks like flex time, work from home, stock options, making a positive contribution (e.g. helping save lives), and having a much larger impact on direction of the product. We find talent through tech meet-ups, online career sites like Indeed and word of mouth.

Who is your biggest competition?

Large dispatch vendors are extending access to their systems through mobile apps. Of course, this means their apps are typically proprietary (works only with their backend systems) and tend to be exponentially more expensive to license and maintain than an open software platform solution that can interoperate with multiple competing dispatch systems.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?

CommandWear has proven its technology through operational field deployments in North America and has its sights set on much more lucrative international markets facing increasing security threats and civil unrest. The company has already secured a major project in Southeast Asia and is seeking international distribution partners in its key market sectors. CommandWear also plans sees opportunities to expand into the much larger industrial, commercial and consumer markets.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

The time and funding it takes to gain traction, especially in the North American public safety market. We’ve spent a great deal of time validating the business value of our technology with high profile champion customers. However, the extra time and investment to do things properly is a key to leveraging sales into the international market.

Toronto based HackerNest Unites Tech Nerds around the World

HackerNest is a nonprofit organization and movement that builds local tech communities around the world (34+ cities). Our mission is to get more people into tech so they can afford to be healthier and happier. Our tech community events and hackathons are supported by organizations like the UK/US/Canadian governments, Facebook, Airbnb, etc.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

Shaharris is the founder and CEO of HackerNest. 1/3 the team codes.

How are you being financed?

As we like to say, we are a very not profitable nonprofit. Our revenue comes primarily from sponsorship.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

Global poverty, inequity, and inequality; the tech divide.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

They come to us — we produce large-scale Tech Expo/Job Fairs that bring together 1000s interested in tech!


Who is your biggest competition?

We aren’t aware of any closely comparable organizations with the same mission.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?

We produce large, blockbuster events like DementiaHack, Fishackathon, and our Tech Expo/Job Fairs; we’re also developing a portal platform to bring together industry and community.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

With enough hard work, dedication, and perseverance, good things can happen.

Entrepreneurs: 7 Lessons Your Parents Should Have Taught You

Your parents are the best support you have in your first 20 years. They say the main reason why some entrepreneurs make it while some others do not is due to the advice their father or mother gave them when they were growing up.

Here are the 7 lessons famous entrepreneurs learned from their parents:


I was encouraged to fail from the early age. Trying is not failing – it allowed me to be freer in trying things“, says Sara Blakely. She is an American billionaire businesswoman, and founder of Spanx, an American intimate apparel company with pants and leggings, founded in Atlanta, Georgia. As of 2014, she is listed as the 93rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

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Enjoy Life.

“Is not life beautiful?”, that’s 3 simple words his father gave him says Richard Branson. He is an English business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies.

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Do Things You are Not Good at.

My father encourage me to do things I was not very good at, and that really opened me up for leadership opportunities“, says Bill Gates. He is co-founder of Microsoft and is an American business magnate, investor, author and philanthropist.




“I was taught to defy authority from early age, and that’s why I grew up never wanting to work for anyone,” says Barbara Corcoran. She is an American businesswoman, investor, speaker, consultant, syndicated columnist, author, and television personality. As a television personality, she is a “Shark” investor on ABC’s Shark Tank.

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Never count other people’s money.

“My pop told me do not count other people’s money. It’s what you got and how you take care of it,” says Steph Curry. He is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Many players and analysts have called him the greatest shooter in NBA history.

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Be Nice.

“I was told to be nice to everyone around me regardless of who they are,” says Tory Burch. She is an American fashion designer, businesswoman, and philanthropist, who has won several fashion awards for her designs. She is the Chairman, CEO, and Designer of Tory Burch LLC.

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Do You.

“I was told just be myself. Do not be a follower. Do not be a sheep. ” says Russell Simmons. He is an American entrepreneur, producer and author. The Chairman and CEO of Rush Communications, he cofounded the hip-hop music label Def Jam Recordings.

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#ElevateToronto, New Tech Festival Aims to Showcase Toronto Tech Scene to the World

Toronto is set to host a new festival show this September 2017 to celebrate its growing tech ecosystem.

Elevate Toronto is a three-day tech festival that will showcase the best of the Canadian innovation ecosystem and welcome the world to Toronto. Festival will take place September 12 – 14, 2017.

Toronto has been featured as top leading city when it comes to tech by major publications:

“Toronto has emerged as an important hub of artificial intelligence”, says Forbes Magazine.
“The tech innovation ecosystem in Toronto has just been blowing up”, says Bloomberg.
“The Toronto and Waterloo corridor is billed as the Silicon Valley of the North”, says TechCrunch.


John Tory, Toronto Mayor, announced the festival today at CN Tower:


Festival will be part conference with key notes speeches given by tech leaders as well as part conversations exchange to connect and share ideas.

Organizers said that diversity is Canada’s strengths and will give out free complimentary tickets to those in need: “With all the walls being built around the world, Canada is open. Our inclusivity is what makes us unique. Any applicants holding a passport from Libya, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Iran and Somalia are guaranteed complimentary tickets. You are welcome here.”


Learn more here:

Startup Women Weekend Femmes in Montréal 3.0

Another successful Startup Women conference has taken place in Montreal. Great initiative to get more women into IT space. See videos and photos below from their recent event celebrating 10 years of TechStars.

The Fondation Montréal inc. is a non-profit organization with a mission to encourage the success of a new generation of promising Montreal entrepreneurs, in concert with a committed business community.

Thanks to the generosity of experienced business people, its donors and volunteers, the Foundation is able to invest in newly created businesses in Montreal through start-up grants and expert advice.





Craft Beer Passport Toronto app launched, find cheap beer across Canada

Toronto startup has created a beer app that gives beer lovers access to $2 craft beers (minimum legal price) at bars and breweries across town.

Basically you prepay for the beers, and then get your beers for $2 per 12 oz or 340 ml. Stuff you prepay for expires in either 3 or 6 months so you better drink up. The app also allows you to try and find some craft beers you never tasted before and recommends them to you when you pick a bar to go to.

This app has been years in the making and includes a custom beer map, profiles of each bar/brewery, flexible payment plans and more to help Toronto beer lovers explore their local craft beer scene affordably! You can download it here for iPhone: and Android:

This app is not the first one to hit the market, there are few other established ones like Brewery Passport ( and Uptappd ( but Craft Beer Passport is definitely the most Canadian.

It seems like the app is only available in the City of Toronto not even in GTA / suburbs, and Toronto is the only city for now. Many more locations to come please? Trekking from Oakville to High Park for a $2 beer might prove challenging no matter how much you love beer. 😉

We sat down with Michael Stulberg , app founder, to get some more details about his beer app:

Michael – tell us more about your app: 

Craft Beer Passport is a value-added marketing company providing discounted access and stewardship to the craft beer community. Using a mobile app, customers embark on city-wide scavenger hunts to collect deeply discounted craft beer at 40+ bars and breweries across Toronto.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

Mike Stulberg | Founder + UX/UI, and James Eberhardt | Mobile Developer

How are you being financed?

Craft Beer Passport is currently being financed by Futurpreneur and through revenues.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

Our greatest challenge to overcome is to expand to other cities while keeping the hyper-locality at the core of our brand–and the craft beer scene in general–intact.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

James was a neighbor of mine. We met in the neighbourhood and we became basketball friends. Later when I was in need of a developer he offered up his services!

Who is your biggest competition?

As of the time of writing, there are no other competitors in this space in our markets. There are small upstarts across North America but few have had our success and even fewer have a mobile app.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in
revenues? In what markets?

We need to expand to other cities and focus on digital marketing initiatives in those spaces. Implementing a referral and gifting system on the app as well as an advertising stream will help our revenues grow.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this

The greatest lesson i’ve learned has come into play during sales conversations. Perhaps this is a Canadian phenomenon but there is a tendency not to say ‘no’ but simply to fail to return calls, show up to meetings, etc. My philosophy has become ‘only take no for an answer’; which is to say, don’t stop selling until you get a definitive negative response.


Watch video about the app:

How It Works! from Craft Beer Passport on Vimeo.